WEST ORANGE, NJ — The RSVP Center of Essex and Hudson Counties is currently accepting volunteers for its Reading Buddies program which connects volunteers age 55 and older with elementary school students in Essex County. The program is now expanding to Washington Elementary School in West Orange. RSVP volunteers will be reading to first- and second-grade children each week.
“Washington School is happy to welcome the Reading Buddies Program to our school this fall,” Washington Principal Marie DeMaio said in a press release.
Reading Buddies seeks to introduce the love of books and increase literacy, reading comprehension, and understanding in young children. Early literacy is linked with academic achievement, higher graduation rates and enhanced productivity in adult life. Volunteers read to the same small group of students each week throughout the school year using a read-aloud format that supplements the school’s regular reading curriculum. Strong intergenerational bonds are formed through this program.
Reading Buddies is actively seeking volunteers interested in spending one hour per week reading books to elementary school students at Washington Elementary School in West Orange, Mount Pleasant School in West Orange, Lincoln Avenue School in Orange and the South Mountain Elementary School in South Orange-Maplewood. If you are 55 or older and interested in learning more about becoming a Reading Buddies volunteer, contact Julie Cramer at 973-637-1761 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Training will be offered for new volunteers in early September.